Tips for a better office

For every successful entrepreneur, there is going to come a time when you need to hire more staff and have a location to put them in. Although working from home is entirely reasonable in an age where we have so many ways to communicate, with an office based environment it is possible to implement more shortcuts to productivity. It also allows you to monitor the morale of your staff closely and provide perks that wouldnít be possible if everyone was scattered. Although the basic requirements of an office seem obvious, some tips might help you improve efficiency, productivity and staff morale. Making efforts to make sure your staffís working environment is a pleasant place to be can ensure their happiness, and a good business leader will work hard to keep their staff motivated and content.

 

Donít fill the space

Clutter is not helpful for creativity and is one of the main causes of wasted time. If you can streamline your office, you will find that you will naturally produce better work results, simply because the distraction caused by unnecessary elements in your environment will vanish. Sometimes, decluttering your workspace is as simple as having a brisk tidy-up before the working day starts, but more often itís a case of not having unnecessary items in the office to start with.

 

Color

It might seem redundant then to suggest scattering color around the office in the shape of flowers. The effect plants have on the people around them is well documented, with different colors producing different moods. Surrounding your workplace with red flowers is likely to boost productivity, whereas blue flowers are known to produce a calm state of mind. Depending on your work methods and business style, you can tailor the colors of your flowers to different areas of the office, further adding that individual touch to the environment.

 

Paper

Itís all well and good to declare yourself a paper-free office, and it is certainly a worthy target to aim for. However, paper is a useful thing to have close to hand for those times when you need to make a quick note. Useful for during phone calls, and if youíre adept at shorthand, then paper becomes a vital resource for when taking minutes of meetings or simply doodling during a brainstorming session. Doodling on a notepad is proven to be conducive to cognitive activity, so make sure that pen and paper are available to all of those that need it.

 

Water

Having a water cooler isnít just about giving your employees a place to stand and discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones. A water cooler is considered a vital piece of office equipment, especially if you live in a warm part of the world. Keeping your staff hydrated is good for work reasons, but also helps to reduce the sugar intake of everyone. People are less likely to crack open a can of soda if there is cold, fresh water close to hand. Having a water cooler in the office is easy to arrange, and no matter where you are in the country, itís easy enough to get a water delivery San Diego, New York or the middle of nowhere.

 

A whiteboard

With iPads and projectors so prolific, you might think that the humble whiteboard has no place in the modern office environment. They are more useful than you think though, as they can transform any part of the office into a meeting space. They can start at someone’s desk, then be moved into your managerís office, then moved down the hall (stopping on the way to show a passing member of staff the latest brainstorming results). The simple whiteboard is handy to keep everyone in the office focused on specific tasks which can then be physically wiped away once completed.† The fact that they can also double as a screen for your projector is simply a bonus.

 

Light

A gloomy work environment is going to kill your productivity rates faster than someone bringing a baby into the office. At all possible places, you should use as much natural light as you can, utilizing windows and mirrors to reflect all the ambient lightings. If that is simply not an option, then you need to make sure that the artificial lighting is as close to natural as possible. Overly harsh lighting and unnaturally gloomy lighting is going to have an effect on your employees and office morale, which will ultimately affect your bottom line.

 

Good food

Monday mornings can be so much more productive if you donít start the day off with a bag of candy and a can of soda. Having already discussed the importance of water, fresh and healthy food being made available to staff is a huge boost in every area of office life. A study showed that staff members who were offered the option of healthy food and snacks were up to 16% happier than those without. Millennials especially have proven to be very responsive to free food, as more and more offices adapt to the changing status of the workspace.

 

These tips and suggestions are just the start of the changes you can be making to your existing office, or a good starting point to bear in mind when you are considering leasing your first business premises. As an entrepreneur, it is up to you to work out exactly what you need, while balancing it together with what you feel your staff needs. The ever constant battle between profit and expenditure is one that you have to work out and clarify. It can also help you to work out what kind of business you are going to be, and further create your own brand identity that will be seen by staff and clients on a regular basis. Considering the importance of brand identity to a start-up or new idea, it is vital that you give it serious consideration before starting off incorrectly and buying the first things you see.

Benefits of Having Multiple Monitors

If one monitor is not enough for you, you can always buy another one, if that will satisfy your needs. Both of them can be connected to the same computer if your graphic card supports that. There are many benefits of having at least two monitors:
1. You will have more than one desktop. This will give you more space to put all the necessary files you use. That can be quite handy if you work with many files like, for example, images.
2. Different monitors might be used for different purposes. One of them can be set to serve you as a working space (with emails etc) while another can be designated to serve as an entertainment station to play games, watch DVDs and listen to the music.
3. Many 3D games like Unreal Tournament or Microsoftís Flight Simulator enable multiple monitors in order to enhance the gaming experience. Not many players have such a setup, but those who do, really appreciate it.
4. In business environments multiple monitors can be very handy as well, in order to allow employees to see more data on many monitors.
Ultimately, the decision whether to have a dual monitor setup is up to you, so you should take into account your needs.

Using Promotional DVDs to Market Your Business

Most entrepreneurs understand the benefits of using video as a marketing tool. With YouTube the second most popular social network, itís clear we all love video. Of course, it is not surprising given that video is incredibly versatile. Words and images are powerful, so when you combine the two, you can tell a story and persuade potential customers to buy your products and services. So, where do DVDs fit into this plan?

Uploading a promotional video to your website or sending clients a link to your YouTube channel is a no-brainer, but there are times when an online video isnít appropriate. For example, if your clients live in a developing part of the world where internet connectivity isnít so great, directing them to a website and asking them to stream a 10-minute video might not work.

The Value of a DVD

DVDs provide instant access to video materials and can be played on a DVD player, laptops, and desktop computers. A DVD player can also be connected to an audio-visual system and projected on to a large screen, which is handy if you are a keynote speaker at a conference and you want to show off a promotional video of a product your company has designed.

Here are some of the scenarios where a promotional DVD could be used to market your business.

Key Places to Use Promotional DVDs

As we have already mentioned, DVDs are a useful tool if you are giving a presentation. It is easy to stop/start a DVD, so you can let your audience watch a few scenes and then stop the film to add your own commentary or further explanation. Once the presentation is over, hand out copies of the DVD in marketing packs, so attendees can take them home to watch again at their leisure.

Distribute DVDs in marketing packs if you attend a trade show. A DVD takes up less room than a company brochure or magazine, yet you can include a lot of information on one disc, including software, a catalog of products and services, detailed information on each product, and clips on how to use various products.

Offline marketing is often overlooked by companies, but offline marketing is still valid and promotional DVDs can be a part of your next marketing strategy. Send out DVDs to your loyal customers. Include software they might find useful or Ďhow-toí videos of your best products. It is bound to capture their attention.

Creating a Promotional DVD

Quality is very important. There is no point burning a hundred DVDs for marketing purposes if the quality of the product is below par. Customers are more discerning these days and they expect a decent quality product. Spend time and money creating a good quality promotional film or Ďhow-toí video. If you donít have the right equipment, outsource the production to a third-party company. If you want to duplicate your own DVDs, visit Burn World for advice.

Donít dismiss the notion of DVDs. They still have plenty of clout in an internet-obsessed world, especially for marketing purposes.

What is the Timetable for Developing an App?

Itís not uncommon for established businesses as well as startups and entrepreneurs to explore their options when it comes to developing a mobile app.

With the pervasive use of mobile devices and apps, most businesses have realized that itís a necessary way to reach their customers where theyíre most frequently at, which is their mobile screen.

Even for entrepreneurs, developing an app independent of an existing business can become a stream of revenue, but itís not just as easy as having a great idea. Thereís an investment of time and money that goes into creating an app.

It can be better in many cases to work with an experienced app development agency like Buildfire so that you can avoid many of the more expensive and disastrous pitfalls, but what about the timeline?

What should you expect regarding how long it will take from concept to launch? Thereís not one set answer, but there are some factors that play a role.

What Do You Need?

If you want a complete app, itís going to take more than a few months for a quality product.

However, thatís not necessarily the case if youíre just looking to create a minimum viable product or proof of concept. With something like a minimum viable product, the period of development is going to be much shorter than it would be otherwise, with simple development and a short period of fixing bugs.

Another way you might see a relatively short development timeline is if you have a simple app without much complexity.

In these scenarios, speeding up the development timeline is possible.

Features

Some app features take longer to develop than others, as would naturally make sense

For example, games, complex navigation, books, education, and catalogs all tend to be on the longer end of the development timeline.

Some of the things that tend to be shorter are news, utilities and newsstand categories.

Size of Your App

App developers refer to something called the size of your app when theyíre determining an estimate of how long development could take. This usually includes four primary factors which are scope, features, depth, and purpose.

Weíve already touched on some of these above, but one we havenít is the scope.

Scope refers to the audience you hope to reach. As an example, if you want to reach people who might visit your brick and mortar business in your local community, the timeline of development is likely to be shorter than if your audience is international.

Testing

An app full of bugs and errors isnít going to work for todayís discerning user, so testing is a massively important part of development.

The amount of testing required is also going to dictate much of the timetable youíre looking at, as well as the cost of development.

To sum it all up, no one can concretely say how long itís going to take to develop an app, but itís likely to take more than a few months for something very complex and full of features, or an app designed to have a broad reach. The more you can prepare yourself for a longer timeline, the more prepared overall youíll be for what it takes to develop a high-quality app.

 

 

 

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Online Reputation

Good online reputation can be very useful when it comes to business relations, or even when it comes to our daily lives. Is it possible to manage our online reputation? It seems that it is, but the price is $88 per month. I am talking here about a tool that scours millions of blogs, news sites, images, and videos for you to track your name, company brands, industry trends, and news about your competitors. This tool allows you to search for any keyword or keywords, and makes it possible for you to indicate with what words you want your keywords coupled. It also allows you to specify which words to exclude. The results can be saved and emailed to anyone. Having said that, I do not really see the reason to pay so much money for this tool, but companies that are interested in their reputation will probably benefit from it a lot.
Anyway, I wonder if the company that I am discussing was able to detect that I wrote this post about them. If they care about their reputation, I am sure that they are monitoring who is writing about them and what this person is writing. It might be fun to check who is writing about me.

Habits Of Entrepreneurs Who Thrive

Even if some people are born to be their own boss, being an entrepreneur requires talent, hard work and dedication. Some are more likely to make it than others because of their habits and willingness to not give up.

You too can become a stronger leader and boss if you put your mind to it. Learn about the behaviors that allow some business owners to succeed. You can work your way to the top if you have the right attitude and are continuously brushing up on your skills. Understand what the entrepreneurs who are getting ahead are doing on a daily basis to keep themselves and their business going strong.

Arenít Stuck in their Ways

Successful entrepreneurs arenít set in their ways and donít believe that their method is always the right solution. They want to do whatís best for the company and are always willing and open to trying new approaches. For example, theyíll do their own research into the topic of avoiding a fake paystub maker until they find an online tool that will get the job done right for their employees. They believe itís better to be flexible and open-minded than it is to shut out new ideas and make assumptions.

Willing to Take Risks

Entrepreneurs who thrive are willing to take risks and do what the competition isnít doing. While theyíll still weigh the pros and cons of a situation, they arenít afraid to make bold moves and decisions if itís going to get the company ahead. A good boss understands that thereís nothing wrong with creating a new path if the one youíre on isnít taking you anywhere.

Surround themselves with the Right People

Strong business owners know they canít do it all alone. They understand that they need people by their side who are in their corner and able to offer support in various circumstances. Itís important to network and build a list of contacts who you can count on throughout your career. Mentors, other small business owners and industry leaders are all great people to connect with and get to know better. Surrounding yourself with strong leaders versus people who donít care too much about their future makes a big difference in your own development.

Let their Employees Make Mistakes & Learn from them

A successful entrepreneur is sympathetic of mistakes his or her employees make and willing to give them another chance. They know no oneís perfect and that talented people will make poor choices or mess up once in a while. Theyíre focused on building a solid team and can quickly identify the strongest and most talented people who will help them do that. Entrepreneurs who thrive know that building a successful company takes a talented group and not one leader.

Conclusion

Keep these ideas in mind as you work toward being your own boss and building a company. Thereís a reason some business owners get to where they are. They care about their own personal development and that of others and are set on thriving.

After Year One: Tips To Keep Your Business Booming

After youíve been in business for one whole year, itís time to celebrate! Youíve made it successfully through many of the first year obstacles, youíve created a clever and innovative working business model, youíve found the perfect location and premises, youíve recruited and hired hard-working employees, and youíve kept on top of your finances. It may feel like the hard work is done and dusted but itís barely beginning. Your business may be ticking over nicely but if you want to continue to enjoy success and if you want to keep growing, the beginning of your second year in business is the perfect time to take pride in your achievements, but also plan for bigger and better in this upcoming year. Whether you own an online service provider, you own the hottest marketing firm or youíre a retailer on the high street, itís time to review year one and see what improvements can be made to make your business continues to go from strength to strength in your second year!

Review & Update Your Business Plan

Your business model and plan were clearly working well if youíve made it through year one! However, itís vital to keep your plan updated to continue to have a clear goal and vision of where you want your business to go, and most importantly, how youíll get there. It is essential that your business plan contains the objectives and strategies that you need to put in place to keep growing. After youíve completed your first year in business, it should become clearer where you appropriately need to make changes to your business plan. You may have found one strategy you chose originally didnít work as well as expected when you implemented it, there reviewing the business plan will help you decide and put in place new strategies. Updating your business plan will also address any new financial changes. In your first plan, you may not have accounted for how many employees you hired or how expensive the rental on your premises is now if youíve changed location as youíve grown. There are a variety of business plan samples available online to help point you in the right direction as you enter year two.

Assess Your Current Finances

Itís vital that you continually monitor your businessís finances whatever year. However, sitting down and assessing every incoming and outgoing of your finances is worthwhile now youíve left year one. While you may have been extra vigilant in year one, you may have found you had costs that you hadnít accounted for. Taking the time to comb through your companies bank statements may seem like a lot of effort, but itís imperative that you take this step to continue to enjoy as much profit as you can. Assessing your finances will not only show you where and what your money is going towards, but it can help prevent unnecessary outgoings or show you where you can improve your business. You may discover you are paying for extra services in your office building that you donít need, or you may find you can employ an extra member of staff to take the pressure off your current workforce.

Continue To Make Sure You Get Paid On Time

Have you found your clients have asked for extra time to pay their outstanding balance? Or have you enjoyed success in getting paid on time? Whichever youíve found, itís important you keep on track of any invoices and make sure you follow up whether itís been received and when you can expect payment. If you havenít already, consider hiring a new member of staff to deal directly with invoicing clients. If one person takes charge of this job, it will mean they are responsible for ensuring you are paid on time, and they have the time and energy to dedicate to it. If you are trying to run the business, keeping track of your staff and trying to invoice every client, it will wear you down.

Address Any Financial Strains

When youíve assessed your situation, you may find you have concerns about your finances. Take the time to address them as soon as you can. It may be financially beneficial if you look into a small personal loan to help you through a rough patch. If you have experience with bad credit, then look for companies that offer bad credit installment loans; by doing so, you can ease your mind and ensure your business credit isnít affected. These work by allowing you to borrow a small, set amount and works with you to find an affordable and realistic repayment plan. Itís important you ensure you can pay the repayments set because if you donít, it can damage your credit rating and you will personally find you have a bad credit rating. Itís easier than ever to apply online for affordable personal loans with professional and knowledgeable consultants to help you find the one perfect for you.

Look Towards The Future

Where do you want your business to go? Do you want to be the lead in your sector or do you want a hit a profit target? Wherever you vision your business going, setting clear goals for year two and beyond will help you strive for them. You should always monitor any trends that could improve your business, whether thatís brand new software to increase productivity or a new marketing technique to try and hook new customers into your business. There are always new trends appearing in every industry and every sector.

Know Your Limits

Now youíve completed year one successfully, you will also be aware of any limits that may put a strain on how you increase and grow as a business. Itís important to be realistic with these. While you may want to be a millionaire at the end of year two, is it realistic for your company? Knowing your businessís limits will help you find areas that can be worked upon in year two and the most effective way of doing so. It will also help you not only set a target for yourself, but for your staff too.

 

How to Keep a Business Afloat

There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your business stays in business. With the competition in many industries being really fierce, business owners these days need to focus so that they perform better and better. Below you will find a few tips that will help you to manage your business even better.

1. Don’t assume that you know absolutely everything there is to know about running a business. There is always plenty of room and opportunities to learn new things. If studying at university is not something you have time to do, try any other way of learning that is not as time consuming. Remember that running a business is a life-long adventure the outcome of which relies heavily on you.

2. Revise your goals on a regular basis and do it often. It is sometimes easy to lose track of what you are doing or supposed to be doing and shifting your attention on something else. You will discover more than once that your competition will take their time to distract you and this is where you have to be alert and focused.

3. Take care of your business the way you take care of your family. Sometimes you might need to tidy up a bit. You might find that storage units Baltimore can be a valuable source of help as they cab allow you to store the items you temporarily don’t need in a safe place. They will be there locked safely until you show up ready to take them back again. There is no pressure when it comes to how long you are supposed to store items in a storage facility as you can choose to do it for as long as you want.

4. Don’t ever get discouraged as long as you have a real reason to do so. When things aren’t going the way you would like them to go you might be tempted to just shut down your business and move to something else. Unless you have proof that you aren’t going to recover keep persevering until things turn back to normal again.

The Use of the Word ďFreeĒ

Many marketers use the word FREE in their ads. They believe that this is the right strategy that is guaranteed to attract more customers. I am aware of the fact that some people abuse the word FREE and lie at the same time. They claim that something is for free while in reality it is not. Misleading your customers is not the right thing to do in my opinion as it can lead to disappointment. Your customers will be disappointed once they land on your website to discover that something is not for free even though it was it was promised for free. You can use the word FREE at your own risk.

Dreaming at Work

If you find yourself wanting to escape your office, don’t worry, you are not alone. Even if you have some very comfy furniture, such as the furniture provided by Furniture At Work #furnitureatwork, you are still prone to daydreaming. There are many other people like you who are “guilty” of daydreaming about being someplace else rather than their office. Been there, done that. The month of January can be rather brutal: you sit in your office only to hear the wind howling behind your window. You know that there is no escape: even if you finish your work early you are greeted by cold weather. You hear about your friend having plans to go to Spain for the next week. You are happy for her but there is no way you could do the same. You have obligations that force you to stay in the country, and there is absolutely no way to change that.

There are some ways to make your office experience so much better especially during winter months. If you are allowed to do so, you might want to bring in some music with you. If it is not allowed, have some tunes on your smartphone and listen to them on your lunch break. They are guaranteed to cheer you up. One thing I always like to do is to bring myself different types of tea in different flavours. Warm tea only tastes good in winter, so why not use this opportunity to experience something that might not be possible later one.

I also value the comfort of my office chair. the office chair is the most valuable component I can possibly think of, and it took me a few good tries before I finally found something that was good for me. If you haven’t found your office chair yet, don’t give up just yet, because they are many good chairs out there that you might want to try.